Last March, Mehdi was invited at the University of the Arts in Helsinki to perform his new piece Ghost Tapes alongside Maja Rezoug’s Super 8 films collages. Let me be clear here: we’re not talking about digital films, treated with Super 8 filters à la Instagram style… We are talking about the real deal: Films.
Those who “Kill the nazis” remember?
Cissors, cuts, tapes, overexposure, textures and all what analog materials and equipment allows you to do. And this is very important to mention here: Sounds & Images’ collages were forming a unique experience not only around El Mahdy’ universe, but a true symbiosis between eyes, hears & contemporary soundscapes reflecting the fucked up situations & their ghosts we all can end up into or witness every, single, day.
Who is famliliar with his works & his unique #FuckedUpPlaces leitmotiv will surely understand what i mean here, for those who just took the train i suggest you to go back to his more than acclaimed first LP on Boomarm Nation.
Defining what and why makes his music so hypnotic & heavy, so grindy & transcendental, almost meditative sometimes but always surprising & changing, at the image of Dunes’s physics: unpredictable, inescapable & bloody beautiful, is a true challenge. Maybe it will sounds naïve & easy to say, but when coming to El Mahdy Jr’s music, it speaks for itself. While some producers forces themselves to “make” music everyday to get a good tune once in a while, it seems like a vital need for him to illustrate musically his visions & opinions. A kind of a therapy.
Nothing from the performance at Uniarts has been recorded (at least shared) and hopefully one day you’ll have a chance to experience it. For now, and thanks to London based label Discrepant, Ghost Tapes “soundtrack” (lets call it this way), is available today on Black Vinyl, cut & mastered by Rashad Becker @ D&M. Its maybe called Ghost Tapes, but its not a tape, AND you must not worry cause Sides have been respected. 2 Sides on a tape are still 2 Sides on a plate.
Mehdi sent me Ghost Tapes a couple of months back, so today is the release date and im gonna listen to it all the way again to write with my own words how i feel about it. Meanwhile, please listen to the promo edit below.
Ghost Tapes is a transmission. From an artist to an audience, and the whole composition is an intricate test to catch the right frequency. One to express himself trying to match the one to transmit. Field recordings have always been a major component of his works, and even if not much were present in what you heard, he never stopped to record everything he could. By any means necessary. The result in Ghost Tapes makes so much more sense than in any of his past works, that is like you are directly plugged to his Hi-Fi, a little window to a man’s universe. Echoes dancing with textures, slowed speeches rhyming with his unique drums & the acquaintance with the Bristol based collective Young Echo makes even more sense. Not a surprise if they already worked together on the immense ‘They Come For You’ with the duo Jabu.
More will come from the artist, and one thing is sure: it will take you time to digest this record, you will always come back to it. Chasing your own ghosts because Nothing is clean, the music is organic. And organic is…Life:
“Time of the heart secret…Natural order of the World”
Release date: 14th August 2015
The haunting collages of El Mahdy Jr come to discrepant with the appropriately named Ghost Tapes LP. Ghost Tapes goes deeper into El Mahdy’s very own personal sonic space, in the artist’s words:
”Ghost Tapes is a composition of everyday fragments based on found tapes, field recordings, beats and radio frequencies. A ruff attempt of interpreting the cultural ghost that surrounds the field and makes the difference between place and space.”
El Mahdy Jr, 2015
Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker @ D&M
Pressed at Optimal
500 units, black vinyl